So, this is a really amazing piece of KC indie rock history that was created a few years after I parted ways with a very active local music scene to focus on the very indie-rock college music scene. But, before I go into what this is, I'd like to discuss how I came upon it as it explains part of the sickness I have for records.
I was visiting my brand new niece a few days after she was born at my sister's house. Babies are great, but my sister and bother-in-law have records (the coolest of which I gave them). After the whole, "Did you see the baby?" bit, I gravitated towards the records and was quickly told many of them weren't really theirs. A friend, who apparently moved, was storing them at my sister's house and they weren't really sure if he was ever coming back for them.
Now, I'm not the kind of jerk who was just going to start looking through some other dude's records thinking I can take them. But, I was going to look at them, very closely and intently, with a purpose of picking out what my sister needed to play/keep for herself. I started sorting through the records with laser focus, the kind not even a newborn could distract. On top of a small pile of 7"s, I saw this PBR cover. Looking closer, it's a hand-made outer-sleeve from a 12 pack. I've never seen it before let alone in my sister's small 7" collection (most of which, I gave her)...so what the hell was this? I flip to the back and see in large font, 'Pabst Blue Ribbon Kansas City.' Whoa. Look further and see the band Trelese and that the songs are written by no other than my old pal Jared Scholz of Reflector. The other band, Namelessnumberheadman is a KC transplant from Oklahoma. Finally, I see that Sid of Too Much Rock was a part of the release under his past label, Urinine Records. I'm literally starting to sweat, what the hell is this and why is it here?
|My new niece, because baby's are way cuter than records|
So, I kind of feel good at that point. The record will be safe with me, where it belongs. I'll document it, I'll cherish it, and I'll archive it. I'm the right person for this record. Then when leaving with my wife, things went South... She's was all, "What is wrong with you?!" "Why did you take that record?!" "It isn't yours?!" Of course, my wife doesn't realize that if I didn't take this home, I may never see another copy. And, every single time I visted my sister in the future, seeing this record would slowly kill me. It would progressively get worse and worse every time I had to look at it until one day I just stole it. Running to my car with a 7" record shoved down my pants feeling guilty and setting a buffer in which I'd visit my sister again. My wife doesn't get that part, but, she was probably right. Total dickmove on my part. And no matter how cool this record is, it's not as cool and great as my new niece.
As for the actual record, I'm mad at my myself for being so unaware in 2003. To justify my theft of the record to my brother-in-law I actually said I wasn't cool in 2003 as if saying so would make him realize that if I was cool in 2003, I'd own this, so somehow, by that logic, he shouldn't feel bad about letting me have it. However, I was actually 'too cool' in 2003 for records like this. At that time I was busy being a mover and shaker at KJHK, probably deeply into ambient Eno music or minimalist 80's synth, not local KC obscurities.
I never was around the scene in 2003 to know Jared tried something new after Reflector broke up. Per the 7", there was a planned full length entitled "Working Toward 2203," which reviewing the interwebs, apparently never saw an actual release. The Trelese, at least based on these two songs, were a toned down Reflector. Less start-stop dynamics and angular paths and more melody in it's place. It's promising and makes me want to go seek out Jared at the Church he preaches at to ask if the rest of the album exists.
Namelessnumberheadman was active up until 2011, maybe they still are, but not to the same extent. The members were native Okie's who moved to KC. They took keyboards and other bits of electronica and combined them with acoustic guitars to generate a significant buzz during their existence. The songs are representative of the band, albeit a very early version. They became well reviewed by Pitchfork and were featured on NPR Music. It sounds very Death Cab for Cutie-esque, but the band was smarter than that, very intelligent with unexpected electronic sounds and acoustic guitars.
Namelessnumberheadman on NPR